Tag Archives: pregnancy

40 weeks and counting

March 31st, our due date!  What a day that was.  Sunny, warm, a lovely seabreeze, not a Mango in sight.  Alas, the 31st came and went, and here we sit, a party of two.

We did manage to sneak in an absolutely beautiful weekend of beach walks, time with the family, a trip to Woodman’s for fried seafood, and a stroll through the woods near our house.  The weather was finally nice enough that we stretched each day to its fullest – we even spent a bit of time on the back porch, soaking up the sunshine.  And despite Mango’s reluctance to join us, we made the most of our days and did our best to enjoy our last remaining days as a family of two.

Fun as it was, we’re really looking forward to our first weekend as a group of three!

39 weeks: impatiently patient

Well, we’re still waiting. We’ve checked all of our tasks off the list for the most part (the hospital bag? Almost packed), and now we just…wait. This weekend felt odd…like there was something big we should be doing, something urgent to be addressed, when in reality there was nothing pressing. We watched basketball, went out to lunch, made a belly cast (really), and puttered about the house. We shared this overarching feeling of urgency when in reality nothing urgent waited to be tackled. Well, nothing aside from labor and delivery and Mango. But that we cannot control – we’re at the mercy of Mango and the mercy of my body deciding that eviction is the best option.

There’s something surreal about these days, these hours. I look at Chris and feel like we should be doing things, making memories, living these final moments when it is just us…and then I realize that we are doing just that. We’re wandering about our neighborhood, both of us lost in the same yet different thoughts, teetering on the brink of a moment in time that will change our world in a way that we cannot yet know. But we do know. Sort of. We know our hopes and our dreams for life after Mango…we know what we want our world to look like, what we want to strive to achieve. Much of that is quite simple. We long for the firsts: the first glimpse, the first snuggle, the first smile, the first laugh. Oh, the first laugh. For two people who spend as much time chuckling as we do, that first laugh is huge.

I now understand how parents have hopes and dreams for their children, but I wonder if they are really hopes and dreams for the children or hopes and dreams for the world in which they want their children to live? I mean, I don’t care one way or another about the details…I just want to create a world in which happiness reigns, fear is rare, and love abounds. A world of wonder that leaves Mango open to embracing the quirkiness of the people of his or her world, and a curiosity that pushes our little creation to seek out new places, new people, new experiences. Must it be on a grand scale? Not at all. But do I hope to impart those values on Mango? Sure. Does it matter if Mango loves to travel, will watch sports with Chris, and enjoys an afternoon walk with me? Not entirely. Of course all of those things would be nice, but ultimately I’m not sure they matter so long as we share the core beliefs of loving the world and treating others with kindness. Being open to differences, and – better yet – finding beauty in differences. Embracing life as an adventure to be experienced rather than a collection of empty days strung together by sleepless nights.

So as we sit here, impatiently patiently awaiting Mango’s arrival, of course our minds are filled with thoughts about what childbirth will be, what life with Mango will be, and just how different our world will look.  But more than anything, we find ourselves drifting into thoughts of the joys we want to share with Mango, the simple life lessons that we hold so dear. So yes, we do have hopes and dreams for Mango, but now more than ever I realize that they are quite basic in nature: to share with our child the world as we see it, full of love and potential for joy. Sprinkled with laughter even on the crappiest of days. Full of adventure in whatever way Mango so chooses.

But in the meantime, we kind of just sit…gazing pensively out the window…impatiently patient.

Oh, and check this out:

Pregnant?
Oh yes, definitely pregnant.

38 weeks of Mango

Well we failed at having a St Patrick’s Day baby, and from the looks of it we’re going to fail at having a baby in the teens of March.  Hurry up, Mango. 

That about sums up the mood – for both me and Chris.  We’re ready.  Of course we have no real idea what we’re getting into, and we’re not really ready because how can you ever be ready, but we’re as ready as we’re going to be.  It’s time to get the show on the road. We just need Mango to hear our pleas and bust a move.  Mango? 

You know what’s worse than wondering when Mango will arrive? Wondering if Mango will be late. We can handle another two weeks even though we would rather not, but the notion of another three to four weeks sounds rather unpleasant.  Alas, we’ll have to wait and see.

Full-term.

Full-term seems like a big deal.  No, full-term IS a big deal.  37 weeks. Mango made it through the weeds and into the home stretch.  We both feel it.  I’m squished, uncomfortable, and gaining excitement day by day; Mango is squished, (un)comfortable(?), and gaining ounces day by day.  We’ve made a good team over the past nine months, and I feel more and more confident as the days creep by that we will continue to make a good team when we finally meet face to face.

It’s crazy to me how close the end/beginning really is. Each day goes by and I’m shocked at how close March 31st feels. I attend meetings at work; we talk about tasks to be completed by next week; I wonder will I be here next week? Or will I be snuggling Mango? Who knows.

Such thoughts require me to focus on the present – require me to be present – and I like it. Of course I am overwhelmed and anxious for what life with Mango will be, but I’m also ready to find out what that life will be. Ready to see Chris and Mango together. Ready to watch my most favorite man fall in love with my most favorite tiny little person. Ready for them to team up against Mom because I know that will become a favorite hobby. Ready.

Along with that readiness comes the unease of course of how it all happens, what that day or days looks like, how we handle it, what ridiculous tasks we come up with to entertain ourselves when we know we can’t go to the hospital just yet. I’m hoping for a walk or two outside, a silly errand, maybe even a game of Scrabble. Please don’t burst my bubble if those are naïve thoughts. I would also find it entirely fitting if we haven’t bought our birthday champagne yet (it WILL be in the hospital bag) and have to go to the package store down the way on one of our walks. I just hope they don’t card me.

How can you card this?

I’ve also been reflecting a lot recently on the past months…finding out about Mango, telling our families, growing out of my pants, feeling Mango kick, watching Chris first feel Mango kick, experiencing what it feels like to have my belly swell from toned to a basketball of baby.  It’s a lot to grasp and a lot to understand, especially because for the longest time it didn’t really feel real or like there would ever be an end. And now here we are, with the end in sight and the constant thoughts of what day will it be, how will it play out, who is Mango? That’s the biggest one: who is Mango? This tiny little being that I know so intimately yet have never met. The fingers that I cannot wait to feel wrapped around my own, the snuggle that I cannot wait to experience.

Who are you, Mango? And how will I ever call you by a name other than Mango?

We shall find out soon.

MARCH.

Well…we’re here. It’s March. And while we can’t be certain that Mango will arrive in March, it’s still…March. The month that we’ve been counting towards since July. The month that has the potential to flip our world upside down (again). The month in which we might perhaps meet the little animal who has been kicking and squirming and kneading away in there for months upon months. The month in which my mother cooks delicious corned beef (that’s the pregnant Irish lass talking).

35 weeks of Mango brought us to this day…and, March, we’re ready for you. Sort of (note the frazzled hairdo).

 

Let me be naive.

Some more thoughts on the world’s willingness to share, overshare, and share some more when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth, and the like… 

I’m in this time in my life where everything is changing. My clothes don’t fit; I can hardly lift myself off the couch; everything takes more effort than it used to. I am aware – so aware – of things being different because there is not a single thing remaining that is the same. I haven’t been on a run in months; I can barely lunge forward let alone touch my toes in yoga; and I no longer remember the last time I enjoyed a happy hour beer out there in the world. Things are different as far as my world is concerned. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad or wrong or I miss the old routine (though at times I do), but it does mean that I am aware.

I know that I had better sleep now. I know that even if I have trouble sleeping now, trouble sleeping on my own accord is much different than trouble sleeping because a newborn wakes me up every hour.

I know that I better enjoy these days, weeks, however long, of me and Chris doing as we please when we please.

I know that things will become more difficult, take more time, not feel as free.

I know that there is a distinct possibility that we will get a baby that screams all night and sleeps all day and spits up every moment in between. I also know I will be covered in said spit up.

I know that life will not be the same after as it was before. It’s already not the same. But it’s a different that we chose, and a different that we want.

So please don’t tell me all of the horrors that are to come. Please don’t tell me my life is no longer my own, that I’ll yearn for the pre-kid days, and that we had better enjoy these minutes while they last. It doesn’t negate the negative statements when in the next breath you tell me how wonderful this will be and that Mango will be the biggest blessing we have ever experienced and the purest form of joy we have ever felt. Just as I know that I won’t sleep for a while (a LONG while), I also know that I’m on the brink of something incredible. 

So let me be naive.

This is the one time in my life where it doesn’t matter what illusions I have in my mind about what being a mother will or won’t be. In due time the illusions will fade into realities, and I will know first-hand what is wonderful, what stinks, and what really stinks. But that will come. For now, just let me sit in a little puddle of pregnant lady daydreams, thinking what I will and being blissfully naive to what I have yet to learn.

But if you do want to tell me something, tell me that a friend once told you that you can always tell a pregnant lady not by looking at her belly, but by looking into her eyes, because pregnant ladies always have sparkly eyes. That would make my day – or make my night, as it did the other night when a kind stranger told me just that.

32 years, 34 weeks

Mango and I both celebrated milestones last weekend: I turned 32, and s/he turned 34.  Years, weeks, they’re all the same, no?  We celebrated in style with visitors from out of town, a birthday party at the parents’ house, and even a wee snowstorm to beautify the neighborhood.  All in all a solid birthday weekend.  To be surrounded by friends AND family for my birthday was such a treat – it has been a long time since my birthday celebration involved mom’s homemade dinner and cake…it felt quite nice. Of course there is also the emotion of this being the last birthday that is just mine…and the novelty of Mango celebrating with me already (MORE CAKE! MORE CAKE IN HERE!)…and the inability to rely on the default “Let’s just go to the bar…” celebration (that didn’t stop my fellow celebrators though)…I don’t know, it all felt very nice and very right. 

As for the wee one, Mango’s movements are so strong by now – my belly hops from here to there as the s/he rearranges whatever furniture s/he has decorated the womb with. I find it reassuring, not just for the attention the baby pays to the details of his or her environment (a tiny little organizer, how cute), but for the comfort in knowing that the little guy is getting bigger and stronger. At my midwife appointment this week, my belly measured just where it should (34cm), and the heartbeat has continued to grow stronger. It’s incredible…there is so much less background noise now, and so very much more heartbeat. While I keep reminding Mango that there are still weeks to go, I do feel more and more comfortable with the thought that were he or she to make an early arrival, we would be okay.

As for me, I’m hanging in there. Physically I still feel pretty great – minor aches and pains, some nights of difficulty sleeping, but nothing too terrible…and nothing like I thought I would feel by now. Somehow I had assumed that by this point in the pregnancy I would feel awful and miserable and when oh when will this ever end? But I don’t. Sure, I’m looking forward to a waist, a couple glasses of wine (make that margaritas), and a few hours of sleep on my stomach, but for now I’m doing okay, round as can be.

See?



Round with a belly full of love. And leftover chocolate cake.

Mangoes are tropical fruits

And therefore Mangoes and snow do not get along.  Especially not when those snows come 28 inches at a time, which ours did this weekend. 

We awoke on Saturday morning to find ourselves snowed in.  Quite literally.  The snow crept so high up the doors (all three) that we simply could not leave our house…through a door. 

Being a dutiful wife, I cooked Christopher a hearty snow shoveling breakfast and sent him out the window into a drift of snow that covered him instantly (he went out head first) and left him eating his way frantically out of the snow.  Poor man/my hero. 


Fueled by bacon, eggs, cheese, and Irish coffee, he shoveled and shoveled and shoveled.  And shoveled.  All day.  He came inside for lunch and then disappeared back into the winter wonderland for another few hours.  When all was said and done, he had cleared quite the path.  And he was beat…until Sunday, his birthday, when the rest of the shoveling awaited.   

A bit more pleasant than Saturday, Sunday greeted us with warm sunshine that melted some of the snow.  The cars were left to clear (I could help!) and minor driveway work, but other than that we were in the clear.  We finished the snow work by lunchtime and were free to enjoy an afternoon of peace and quiet before the Celtics/Nuggets game that night. 

Oh, and while Chris was shoveling all day Saturday I busied myself nicely as well.  I finished the touch-up work needed in Mango’s room, made some pretzel rolls, and tackled the mountain of laundry we created throughout the week.  All was not lost in trashy magazines and daytime TV.  Speaking of Mango’s room, here you are – it’s a work in progress still but we’re getting there, and it’s very exciting!

We’re back at work this week, 33 weeks and counting.  The intensity of the kicking has increased as Mango soaks up more and more room in the belly.  The excitement also continues to build as we creep towards March 31st…this weekend is my birthday, followed by two baby showers the next two weekends, and then we’re in March and March means maybe Mango and maybe Mango means holy moley we’re parents and then the world changes in ways we cannot even fathom but somehow know will be fun and exhausting but still fun and did I mention fun?  Because it’s going to be…fun.  A tiny little version of us to pester day and night (and to be pestered by day and night)?  Fun. 

32 weeks of belly

On Sunday we turned 32 weeks old.  I think we also finally developed a waddle.  I can’t be certain, but there is something distinctly waddle-ish about my gait these days, and I figure if I’ve begun to question the waddle, surely it exists.

It’s nothing terrible, just sort of a wide-stance walk that could be attributed to horseback riding if I did that, but I don’t.  Nope.  It’s a waddle.  A slow, teeter-tottery wobble (thanks Mango).

32 weeks took me, Chris, Mango, and the waddle to Vermont for a cozy getaway weekend in Woodstock.  We spent a wonderful weekend wandering through the woods, eating delicious food, and relaxing. We slept in, lazed about, and enjoyed.  Few photos resulted, but we did snap a few, so here you are:

Progress at the home front continues slowly but surely.  We’re expecting a giant snowstorm this weekend, so we plan to spend Saturday indoors preparing Mango’s room.  There’s some painting to be done and some furniture to reorganize, but other than that, we’re in a bit of a holding pattern as we don’t have much stuff yet.  I laughed with Chris the other day about Mango coming early and the poor child spending the first days of his or her life naked on account of ill-prepared parents.  Perhaps we should buy some clothes.  Or maybe just diapers and a blanket.  That would suffice.

Emotionally, it feels as though the end is in sight, which is both incredibly exciting and unbelievably overwhelming.  Chris remains the rock, ever confident that we’ll do great and Mango is lucky to have us.  I fluctuate much more in my emotions – there are some days when I mirror Chris’s calm facade, and there are others where I am certain that we are doomed and poor Mango will deem us failures from the get-go.  Then I have a moment of clarity and realize that we’re probably doing something right if our child looks at us with an eye-roll and thinks s/he couldn’t have faired worse in the luck of the draw.

That said, I’m fairly certain that Mango lucked out and that, if anything, the kid is in for a wild ride.  Even if its mother waddles.

After February comes March…

I woke up in the middle of the night last night, and, oddly, the first thought that popped into my mind was “Oh, it’s February now…and after February comes March.”  And then I drifted back to sleep, but the thought remained when I woke up this morning.

We know that many first babies come late rather than early, but that doesn’t mean that ALL first babies come late, so we’re doing our best to continually remind ourselves that we may not have until the end of March after all.  It’s weird though…we’ve been counting down to this far away date since the middle of the summer when I had a flat stomach and it all seemed like a big dream.  Week by week, we tick off days and fruits/vegetables of the week (despite the fact that I am stuck on Mango), and my belly grows, and we realize more and more that there really is a person in there.  A tiny little person all our own who at some point will need to be evicted and then the fun really begins.

The “you don’t even have a belly!” comments ceased weeks ago and have since been replaced by “whoa, someone popped!” (thanks and no kidding). I think that’s the biggest surprise in pregnancy for me thus far: people feel SO comfortable commenting on my body, my belly, my everything. Things that no one would dare say if not for the tiny baby in there (how much weight have I gained, really? how much weight have YOU gained – oh, you don’t want to talk about that?). The flip side of it is that people are totally weirded out about the nice stuff…if you’re going to comment on the size of my belly, at least give it a little rub to let it know that the comments are well-intentioned. I know a lot of people are weirded out by that, but I stand by the notion that we need more human touch in our world these days. If that comes in the form of a belly rub, by all means, I’ll take it.  For now. Ask first. But please, rub the belly.

Speaking of the belly, I’ve begun daydreaming about the day my pants require zippers and buttons and belts again.  And the day my belly button retreats back to its home as an innie.

We still have somewhere around eight-nine weeks of Mango in the belly (in theory).  And while the weeks fly by and there is still much to be done in preparation for the grand entrance, the waking thought remains that after February comes March.  Onward we go.

 
(These pictures have nothing to do with trudging onward, but they’re all from our travels and don’t they look pleasant?  The daydreaming continues…)